Tech stocks weigh on Wall St., Nasdaq set for third straight decline

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(Reuters) – A broad sell-off of technology stocks pushed all three major U.S. stock indexes lower, with the Nasdaq Composite set to post its third consecutive loss of more than 1 percent for the first time since August 2015.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The technology index .SPLRCT tumbled 1.6 percent as disappointing results stoked fears about future growth for the sector that has led the equity market to record highs.

Shares of Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) were down 3.6 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively, leading the so-called FAANG stocks lower. Other FAANG stocks include Apple Inc (AAPL.O), (AMZN.O), and Google parent Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O).

But the technology profit-taking was widespread, pushing all three major U.S. stock indexes into negative territory.

“There’s a lot of money and speculation piled into the FAANG stocks and now that money is coming out,” said Wayne Kaufman, chief market analyst at Phoenix Financial Services in New York. “It’s money coming out of a crowded trade, and people are concerned about the midterm election news cycle and about tariffs to some degree.”

With second-quarter reporting season now well past its mid-point, analysts now expect S&P earnings to have increased by 22.6 percent, up from the 20.7 percent seen on July 1. Of the 270 companies having posted results, 82.6 percent have beat consensus estimates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 80.16 points, or 0.31 percent, to 25,370.9, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 11.69 points, or 0.41 percent, to 2,807.13 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 94.13 points, or 1.22 percent, to 7,643.29.

Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, five were in negative territory.

Shares of CBS Corp (CBS.N) continued to slide, dropping 5.3 percent. The media company’s board was set to meet on Monday to discuss personal misconduct allegations against CEO Leslie Moonves.

Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N) dropped 7.2 percent after the company cut its full-year profit forecast, citing potential tariffs.

The warning also weighed on shares of Hormel Foods Corp (HRL.N), Sanderson Farms Inc (SAFM.O) and Pilgrim’s Pride Corp (PPC.O), each falling between 1 and 2.6 percent.

Energy stocks were among the gainers, up 0.4 percent as oil prices LCOc1 rose on potential supply disruptions.

The financial sector .SPSY advanced 0.4 percent ahead of this week’s meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve, with JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) all up 1 percent or more.

Industrial bellwether Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) raised its full-year profit outlook after strong global demand helped the company beat second-quarter expectations. Caterpillar’s shares were up 0.2 percent, paring earlier gains.

AT&T Inc (T.N) was up 3.1 percent after Bank of America upgraded the wireless carrier to “buy.”

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.07-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.30-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 14 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 25 new highs and 84 new lows.

Reporting by Stephen Culp; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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